Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Catching up

So I know that I said back in June that I was back and going to get to writing again and here we are, several months later, with only a post or two to my credit. 

What can I say? It's been busy! 

He seems so little here. Time really does fly! 
The first, and clearly one of the biggest, things that has changed our world was the birth of our son, Benjamin, back in March. He sure is something. I know it sounds cliche but I can't believe how instantly I fell head over heels in love with him. It truly has been love at first sight. Obviously not without its challenges and incredibly tired and stretching moments but, my goodness, is this little man a gift. I want to write out his birth story one day soon as his arrival certainly didn't go as planned but he's here, happy and healthy and learning new things every day. I'm sure that I'll find time to share some of his shenanigans as we go along. Right now Daddy aptly describes him as a roomba. He's not crawling yet but he sure has figured out how to roam a room! So now my days are consumed by frequency and color of "gifts" left in diapers, feeding and sleep schedules, how to encourage and engage an infant, what and when to start solid foods and how to create an environment to inspire faith in one of God's smallest. Such a change from pool chemistry and city wide programming, and, you know what? I love it. I feel like being momma is exactly, EXACTLY, what I'm supposed to be doing right now. 

And then there's his big sisters. Life with them has been an eb and flow similar to that of the ocean. Sometimes peaceful tides rolling in and out and sometimes crashing waves. There have been big changes in that regard too. As of last October, the older Miss has been with us full time and together we all survived grade 12! How crazy is that?! She graduated last May, finished classes and wrote the last exams of her high school career in June and is now figuring out how to navigate the working world. Just when we thought we had things settled into routine, the younger Miss decided that she, too, was wanting to make her full time home with us. I wish I could communicate the answer to prayer that this has been, specifically as we prayed for truth to find its home in our family and for hearts to be softened. She has entered into family life with us with a whole lot of energy and spark and loves on her little brother like nobody's business. Just when we thought we were done with high school, here we go again as she enters grade 10. We are excited for her to branch into some new things as far as classes, to make new friends at school and to find her way in our home. 

Its crazy to think that last August, there were two of us living in our little home and now there's five. We sure are glad we finished the basement now and doubled our square footage. We're using every inch. Every. Single. Inch. I can't say it's been all sunshine and roses. There is so much adjustment and compromise and every ounce of my patience and every last strand of hope has been used up some days. Remember that ocean I mentioned? Some days I feel like I'm drowning in it. Being a step mom is hard, you guys!! Honestly so hard. There are days where it is lonely and I feel like I am lost in the bigness of it all. There are so many stories and habits and histories that I am not a part of and it makes it hard to feel like I'm a part of what's going on moving forward. Like I'm a little bit on the outside looking in and my house is not my home. Does that make sense? 

In it all, I'm trying to give myself grace. When another day has gone by and the house is still a mess (which I swear steals a piece of my soul) and I'm grumpy and tired, I have to remember there's another day. When I haven't been writing here like I really, really want to, I have to know that this is a season and a new one will come. Grace is required for me to be the grown up I need to be when sometimes all I want to do is build a blanket fort and read books. 

And I have read books. Tons of books. Mostly stories that take me far away (and don't make me think too much) and parenting books but tons. Maybe I'll find a few of the top picks to share with you here too. Maybe. Give me grace. Until then, I post keep my goodreads list pretty up to date. You know, if you're curious. 

One of my life rafts in it all has been our church. Seriously, God knew what he was doing when he pushed us in that direction. The timing was perfect and the people are wonderful. They are becoming family and they love on my family in so many beautiful, welcoming, heart-healing ways. Oh, and they have me leading music again too. Music feels good. Using my gifts to lead people in His worship feels good too. Finding His voice speaking to me in songs again is like a balm. 

What else? I know there's been more. So much more. Let's see....

My husband, one of his best friend's and my dad finished our basement just in the nick of time. Mere weeks before Ben was born, the carpet went in. Phew. Its great and I'm so proud of my sweet husband for all the time, effort and going beyond what he knew to learn and create for us and so thankful for all the helping hands that made it possible. Its necessary space for us. Now to figure out how to get my library incorporated into it....

Still playing away with my camera and trying to teach myself new skills. I've learned a lot about light and, although I still feel like I have a long way to go and so much to learn, I can see the improvement in what I can capture and it motivates me. It helps to have the cutest little one around for target practice too, I will admit. I don't post a lot to Facebook but instagram, well, you can find me there and #sorrynotsorry for any oversharing that might happen. 

One day I'll have to share about my journey in health and nutrition. It's always been a value to me, good food, as I've been able to see the connection between what we put into our bodies and how they operate. Finding whole, healthy, natural foods to fuel our bodies and understanding the power of good food for immunity and overall health is not just a skill to me but an essential and so I've spent tons of time learning and growing in this area. One of the things that I've had to overcome is a sensitivity to wheat, eggs and milk and so I've almost entirely cut all three out. Cheese. Seriously! And eggs. Delicious, wonderful, protein filled eggs. Learning how to cook all over again has been quite the journey with some failed experiments and some serious wins. 

As a part of that, I've been playing with essential oils. Husband calls it my witch craft but, honestly, I'm thrilled to be able to use natural god given plants turned into oils to do the work of what we'd normally use chemicals for. I'm specifically a fan of Young Living Oils and am sure that I'll refer to them from time to time as I find new fun ways to use them. 

With a new baby comes maternity leave and a whole new way of doing life and seeing oneself. Time with grown ups is not quite so "ready made" as it was when I was at work, even if some of the grown ups then were less than welcome company (honestly, the pool brings out the weirdest of the weird). Sleep is not so readily available but is always welcome. We take naps and go out to places like Spruce Meadows or the Saskatoon farm in the middle of the day. The MIDDLE of the day. Some days heading out for groceries is a win and I'm learning that that's okay, even if it is contrary to my personality. Watch, I'm going to get so good at this pace of life that when it's time to go back to work, I just won't be ready for it! 

Speaking of which, that's something that has really taken over my mind, really since my last day of work before our son arrived. I've thought of it as a bit of a sabbatical to refocus and reshape what my work life will look like. I feel ready for different, for something that uses my skills and abilities and is more honouring to my time with my family. Working nights and weekends is for the birds and doing things the way they've always been done has, well, been done. I want to be able to make my family a priority. I want to create. I want to figure out (again) what gifts and abilities God has given me and use them. Don't get me wrong, the pool was exactly what it needed to be for a season and I am thankful that I had that to fall back on in order to take time to heal and grow while still making an income. I'm thankful that, when my sweet husband was out of work, it provided enough of an income for us. As we've literally been replacing every appliance in the house over the past year, I've been thankful for the continued income of maternity leave and the additional benefits provided in the package. Its been, and will continue to be, an area that I know has stretched my faith, my willingness to be patient and my ability to listen for His still small voice leading in every area of my life. God cares about our work. 

There's so many big and little things filling life. Like hockey. Ben will be a fan, just not a flames fan. If he thinks about it we move. The whole Oiler upper management change leaves me hopeful that things will turn around and he'll make the right choice. Like visits with friends. Like bbq's and visits with family. More projects around the house than we know what to do with. More and full and some days exhausting but ours, none the less. So, in a nutshell, that's the us. That's the comings and goings. Now that we're all caught up, perhaps its time to fill in the gaps, one at a time, as grace allows. 

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